Dear Thin Man.
- My physicians tell me that I can no longer go under any general anesthesia because of my emphysema and other breathing complications. There is a good chance I wouldn’t wake up again. I am exploring other options, but it is beginning to look like I’m just going to have to live with “no cartilage-bone-on-bone” hip and suck it up. It was fun while it lasted, but I guess I wore it out. The good news is that I never again have to suffer through a colonoscopy.
- 2) I’m not sure about the escalators. In that connection, I’ve been diving off ever-higher diving boards (100 feet was my highest and most fun, into a 40' pool at the age of 13, at the Coast Guard Training Pool (imagine diving off a nine-story building) and platforms since I was about two years old, but I’ve never been able to jump off anything into any depth of water. I have tried, believe me, but my body involuntarily, without thought, and sometimes too late for safe landing, throws itself into a head-first entry. That’s pretty strange, I know, because when I did dives in training and competition, doing flips and twists and all such, I had no problem ending up feet first if that was what was called for, as long as I started out head-first. But I couldn’t just jump off feet first and stay that way. Oh. well. Now I’m not able to walk or swim, so it doesn’t matter anymore. The escalator problem may have been that it kept moving, and watching it before I tried to step on usually hypnotized me to a point, like watching rushing water in a river. Or it might have been that, more than once, my long dresses got caught in the mechanism, with very distressing consequences in public places. Oh, well. Never again.
- I have absolutely no fear of dying in a random encounter, as I only leave the forest about once a month these days, if that often, we are well prepared for any emergency here, and I never, ever go to crowded places anymore which could possibly be considered any kind of target. Plus, we are in the absolute last place in the world where anyone with a mental problem like that, or with terrorist tendencies, would go unnoticed for more than one encounter with a local resident. You should read the Sheriff Report in the local weekly newspaper, which records every call into the office. A teenager was seen smoking on the corner of Main and Second. A dog was running loose through the town. Someone went into a ditch trying to avoid hitting a deer on Highway 25. You get the idea. It’s not the terrorists which frighten me most — it is the terrible things I could catch from casual contact, and I’m tired of winding up in hospital being charged thousands of dollars because other people are stupid and lazy. (Twice in the past five years.) Thank you, though, for your concern. I appreciate it more than you know. And, I guess, 4) I don’t go gently into anything unless gentle is what is needed for others (see photo).